Australian bloggers on trial in China, concerns about political tensions could affect outcomes


[Sydney]Australian blogger Yang Heng-jun, who is being tried in Beijing on suspicion of espionage, asked the judge to exclude evidence of torture obtained during the interrogation, according to a message sent to family and friends. It was.

In his first comment since a court hearing on Thursday, which was not open to family members and Australian consular officers because China said it was involved in state secrets, Mr Yang said geopolitical tensions were in his trial. He also expressed concern that it could affect the results of.

“If a wrong decision is made due to political pressure or worsening international relations, it’s bad because of national security,” he said in a message Reuters saw on the issue. Detailed sources confirmed.

Photo of Yang Heng Jun
This social media image, obtained by Reuters, shows writer and former Chinese diplomat Yang Heng-jun (now an Australian citizen) taken in an unspecified location in Tibet, China in July 2014. (Reuters)

Since Mr. Yang was detained in January 2019, diplomatic relations between Australia and China have deteriorated sharply, and China has imposed trade sanctions on some imports from Australia, internationally on the origin of the coronavirus. I am indignant at the call for a general investigation.

Australia said it had not been briefed on the charges against Yang, and on Friday Foreign Minister Maris Payne called Yang’s case “arar intentional detention” after the consular officer visited him in prison.

“I hope Australia will continue to be in good contact with China and achieve my release as soon as possible,” Yang said in a message.

Mr Yang said he spoke directly in court for three to five minutes during the six-hour hearing.

“I was tired, confused, and unwilling to speak,” he said, adding that he was pleased with the lawyer’s defense. Human rights lawyers Mo Xiaoping and Shan Baojun said Appointed by a family member, it is forbidden to tell anyone about the details of the national security case.

“I hope the rule of law in China will win,” Yang told the judge.

Mr Yang said he met the judge on Monday prior to the hearing and petitioned to exclude the cross-examination record.

“It’s illegal. Torture. They had hidden camera records,” he said.

Yang was placed under resident surveillance in a designated location, a form of informal detention without a legal representative, for six months in 2019, and Australia has repeatedly complained about the situation in which he was detained.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman to respondo Zhao Lijian had previously denied allegations of torture, but China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. “All legal rights of Yang Heng Jun are fully guaranteed and there is no so-called torture or ill-treatment,” he told reporters in December.

“When I was little, I secretly served China and helped people,” Yang said in a message.

Reuters reported earlier that Mr. Yang had told his supporters that he had worked for a Chinese security agency before moving to Australia in 1999.

In a message released on Sunday, Mr. Yang said he did not know which intelligence agency he was alleged to have worked for.

“I don’t work in Australia or America, I’m just writing for people,” he said.

He said he was worried about the outcome of the proceedings and said the decision could be delayed by up to two years.

“I’ve been trapped in a worse place than a prison for more than two years,” he said.

“The judicial authorities have handled the case strictly in accordance with the law and (and) have fully protected Yang Heng-jun’s litigation rights,” China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

Potential penalties for espionage cases range from three years to the death penalty.

Kirsty Needham

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